Armadale Capital Plc (LON:ACP) Metallurgical Test-work Completes with Highly Encouraging Results

Nick Johansen Director of Armadale said: “Our focus this year has been increasingly demonstrating to our shareholders that we are in the process of transitioning from explorer to emerging producer.

Metallurgical Test-work Programme Completes with Highly Encouraging Results

Plant Design Work Now Underway

Armadale Capital plc (LON:ACP) the AIM quoted investment group focused on natural resource projects in Africa, is pleased to confirm that the metallurgical test-work programme on representative composite samples from its wholly-owned Mahenge Liandu Graphite Project in Tanzania (“Mahenge Liandu” or the “Project”) has now been completed with highly encouraging results confirmed. Furthermore, following completion of the metallurgical test-work, the Company has, ahead of schedule, moved into plant design work which is the next critical phase in the Project’s development.

Highlights:

  • Results confirm high-quality graphite flake of up to 97.1% purity can be produced, further reinforcing and validating the Project’s robust economics
  • Next critical phase of the Definitive Feasibility Study (“DFS”), the plant design, now underway and ahead of schedule, with the process engineering team currently working on designing a process flow-sheet
  • Work commenced designing mine site layout with locations for the plant, tailings dam, access roads and camp layout already largely defined
  • Discussions with prospective Chinese off-take and project finance partners continuing, further assisted by the metallurgical test-work outcome

Nick Johansen Director of Armadale said: “Our focus this year has been increasingly demonstrating to our shareholders that we are in the process of transitioning from explorer to emerging producer.

“To this end, it is pleasing to see that we have now successfully completed an outstanding metallurgical test-work programme that convincingly demonstrates Armadale can produce a high-quality graphite concentrate.

“Our engineering team is now fast-tracking the next phase of the DFS, which should result in the main layout and flow-sheet being completed shortly.

“Against this technical backdrop, our marketing team now has significant incremental data points and is progressing discussions with our prospective Chinese off-take and project finance partners.”

FURTHER INFORMATION

The metallurgical test-work programme on representative diamond drill core composites from the Mahenge Liandu Graphite Project has now been completed. The final assay results definitively confirmed high-quality graphite concentrate of up to 97.1%. Moreover, additional test work undertaken has demonstrated that it can consistently be produced.

This is a key milestone for the Project development which has come ahead of schedule, as it reaffirms and validates the robust project economics. Moreover, it enables Armadale to progress to the next critical step of the DFS which is plant and mine design.

As such, the process engineering team has now commenced work across several areas including flowsheet design and mass & water balance for the mine site.

In addition, equipment selection and sizing are now underway, while the location of the plant, tailings dam, access routes and camp layout are being defined.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Mahenge Liandu Graphite Project, Tanzania

Armadale Capital’s wholly-owned Mahenge Liandu Graphite Project is in a highly prospective region, with a high-grade JORC compliant indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate announced February 2018 – 51.1Mt at 9.3% TGC. This includes 38.7Mt Indicted at 9.3% and 12.4Mt at 9.1% TGC, making it one of the largest high-grade resources in Tanzania.

The work to date has demonstrated the Project’s potential as a commercially viable deposit, with significant tonnage, high-grade coarse flake and near-surface mineralisation (implying a low strip ratio) contained within one contiguous ore body.

Currently, Armadale Capital is completing a Definitive Feasibility Study based on the results of a Scoping Study that was completed in March 2018. The study was based on a throughput of 400,000tpa over a 32-year mine life and showed the Project has robust economics and warrants further development.

The Scoping Study verified the Mahenge Liandu Project could produce a coarse flake, high-purity graphite product underpinning a compelling business case to progress commercialisation plans.

The Scoping Study, based on a 400,000tpa throughput, highlighted the following key positive metrics:

  • Producing an average of 49,000tpa of high-quality graphite products for a 32-year mine life
  • Near-surface nature of the deposit produced a low 1:1 strip ratio for the life of the mine
  • Low operating cost of US$408/t, based on an average 12.5% TGC life of mine grade
  • Pre-tax IRR of 122% and NPV of US$349m, with a low development capex of US$35m
  • Maximum draw-down during the construction of the project is US$34.9m and the after-tax payback period is 1.2 years
    There remains significant scope to further improve returns, with staged expansions as the current mine plan is based on circa 25% of the total resource.

The information communicated in this announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.

 

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